Collecting Baseball Cards - A Great Hobby for a Down Economy

When you look at the baseball card collecting hobby, you might instantly think of the T206 Honus Wagner or the Babe Ruth rookie card.  Not me.  I visualize the 1988 Topps Wade Boggs card.  It was one of the first packs I ever opened. 

Babe Ruth baseball card Yankee StadiumToday, we live in an era of belt-tightening that hasn't been seen in generations.  How can one find a hobby that gives them the satisfaction they are looking for with  little or no money spent?  Baseball cards are as cheap and plentiful as ever before.  As mentioned in a previous article here, you can even find five outstanding Babe Ruth baseball cards for under $100

You have a number of excellent ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of baseball card collecting without breaking the budget.

1. Go old school and buy a single pack of baseball cards. Still available at Wal-mart, Target, and other chains, packs can still be found for under a buck.  You can still relive the memories of opening a pack containing the unknown and see if any players from your favorite team are inside.

2. Cruise eBay for vintage cards.  The economic downturn has certainly kept some downward pressure on prices of vintage cards.  That Topps Wade Boggs I mentioned can easily find it on eBay for $1 or less with shipping (not really a fair example though- it was worth around 35 cents at its peak).  A better example might be the Wade Boggs rookie card, which now hovers around $2.  Make a list of your most memorable childhood baseball cards or stars and surf over to eBay.  You will be surprised at how cheap they have become. 

I occasionally give myself a $5 limit and spend hours trying to find the most unique piece of memorabilia I can find.  I am always surprised.

3. Check out a baseball card show.  You can spend hours wandering around, seeing classic cards, and learning about hobby trends without spending a dime.  If you are on a very tight budget, walk in with only a $5 bill and see what you can leave with.  You will probably be surprised.

4. Participate in trading sites.  There are sites today that allow users to trade cards with other collectors, free of charge.  At this point you are simply paying for postage and re-living one of the purest forms of card collecting - the art of the deal.  Sports Card Forum and Vintage Card Traders are two such sites to check out.

Whether you collect Babe Ruth baseball cards or are just a casual card collector with fond memories of the hobby, this is a great time to see what is out there.  The internet has made card collecting an incredibly inexpensive hobby that should welcome back another generation of card collectors.